“Wherefore now let the fear of Jehovah be upon you, take heed and do. For with Jehovah God there is no iniquity, nor respect of persons nor taking of gifts.”
Jehoshaphat was raised up by the hand of God to be king over Judah. He was the son of Asa who did that which was good and right in the eyes of Jehovah his God. He commanded the nation to seek the Lord and to observe the law of commandments. Yet when Ba-asha, king of Israel, came up against Judah, Asa gave away all the silver and gold of the treasury and made league with Ben-hadad king of Syria to help him defeat the armies of Israel. Ben-hadad was more than happy to attack the northern portions of Israel and this caused Ba-asha to withdraw from his battle with Judah. But Jehovah God sent forth His seer to Asa and he rebuked him for relying upon the King of Syria and not upon the King of the Universe. This infuriated Asa to the extent that he imprisoned the seer and oppressed the people of Judah. Even though he was diseased in the feet by the hand of God yet he sought not the Lord but turned to physicians. After his death, his son, Jehoshaphat, strengthened himself against Israel and fortified the land of Judah.
This man was a child of grace and therefore Jehovah was with him. He caused Jehoshaphat, by His Spirit within, to walk according to the ways of his father David and not according to the ways of the doings of the children of Israel. God established his kingdom and restored unto him all the treasures that his father had given away so that he had riches and honour in abundance. His heart was not the heart of stone and by the grace of God he was not stiffnecked or hard-hearted for his heart was “lifted up in the ways of Jehovah”.
So greatly had God blessed this vessel of mercy that the fear of the Lord was upon the kingdoms of the land and there was no war against Jehoshaphat and Judah. Even the Philistines brought presents and paid tributes of silver and the Arabians brought flocks of rams and goats as the hand of Almighty God directed. “And Jehoshaphat waxed exceedingly great and he built castles in Judah and cities of store, and he made much business in the cities of Judah and the mighty men of war and valour were in Jerusalem”
God had elevated this man according to the good pleasure of His will and placed him in a mighty station in life. Did he walk by faith and rely upon the hand of his God in all things? NO! He like any child of Adam thought he knew what was best and therefore he made an affinity with wicked Ahab, King of Israel. Ahab had designs to go up to Ramoth-gilead and do battle with Syria and Jehoshaphat had no reason to get involved with the matter. Ahab put on a good show of piety as he sacrificed multitudes of sheep and goats in his abomination before the Lord and when Jehoshaphat asked what the word of the Lord was in the matter, Ahab paraded a host of prophets before him to say that God had blessed this endeavour. Yet Jehoshaphat asked if there was a prophet of the Lord who would speak the truth. God had sent forth His word of truth by the mouth of Micaiah the prophet and also sent forth a lying spirit into the mouth of the prophets of Ahab. He caused the truth to be ignored and the lie to be accepted and the result was the death of Ahab and the return of Jehoshaphat to Judah.
Here the seer Hanani met Jehoshaphat and by the word of the Lord asked, “Shouldest thou help the ungodly and love them that hate Jehovah? Therefore wrath is upon thee from before the Lord” (19:2). Jehoshaphat stood guilty of having an unequal yoke with unrighteousness and was under the penalty of the law before God. Yet this same wrath of God that lead him back to Jerusalem in shame, caused him to go out throughout the land and bring the people back unto Jehovah God of their fathers. He reinstated the judges to hear the people and their problems and to judge them according to the strict standard of the Holiness of God’s law and not according to the wealth, social status or personal benefit that may be obtained by the judges. “And said to the judges, Take heed what ye do, for ye judge not for man but for Jehovah who is with you in the judgment” (19:6).
But what caused Jehoshaphat to make this alliance with Ahab? Ahab came to him and ask for his help in his war with Syria but Jehoshaphat was at peace. What was it that changed the heart of the King of a nation at peace to go to war with a rival nation? God stirred the heart of Jehoshaphat and blinded him to the futility of this endeavour because God had ordained it to come to pass. He had already established the means of the telling of the lie and that was through the lying spirit. He had purposed that this evil spirit would be placed into the mouth of Ahab’s prophets, Ahab would hear, believe and obey and Jehoshaphat would not be able to overcome it. Even when he heard the word of the true prophet, Jehoshaphat was given to follow the advice of the prophets possessed by an evil spirit and go to war with Ahab.
The testimony of all the events that had transpired upon Jehoshaphat and the nation of Judah were absolutely essential as a hard schoolmaster to bring this servant of the Lord to this point in his life. His experiences taught him that Jehovah is ever present and the cause of all that comes to pass. These episodes in his life had manifested the fear (respect and reverence) of God in his heart and he instructed his judges, from the lessons learned in these experiences, that this fear must ever be before them. He counseled them that the judgment that they would render and the actions they would perform were already “judged of Jehovah”. This ‘judgment of Jehovah’ was accurate, true and proper in all things and it was not the judgment of man. Man judges and evaluates matters according to the limitations of his experiences, the level of his diminutive understanding and in partiality and bias. The judgment of Jehovah has none of the frailties of man and there is no injustice, wickedness, perversion or unrighteousness. God has never and will never pass judgment based upon the person of Adam. He has no partiality to works and He cannot be persuaded, influenced or bought.
All his works are true and just. He created a vessel outfitted for destruction and named it Ahab. He placed in this vessel of dishonour the seed of the serpent and caused it to walk according to it’s nature within the confines of the limitations, set by the Sovereign God, that were necessary to the fulfillment of His will. He judged the vessel fit for destruction as He had created it, found the man guilty of failing to measure up to the standard of Holiness which He demands and judged him after the works of his hands. There was no argument for extenuating circumstances, coercion or duress as the justice of God was performed. He did not exonerate the evil spirit because he had done the will of God in the mouths of the false prophets, He did not pardon Ahab because it was not his fault since he could not resist the will of God and, although the theology of man cannot explain the truth and the natural man cannot comprehend the truth, God is not guilty of any impropriety.
Nor is He guilty of partiality because he forgave Jehoshaphat. This was a child of grace wherein dwelt some good things. The Apostle Paul said that in him, that is in his flesh, dwelt no good thing yet if one is born from above and the incorruptible seed remains in him, there is something good within. This is not after Adam, is separate from the flesh and is not a partaker of the sin of Adam. God afore prepared a vessel for this glory and placed it it from his mother’s womb, the eternal seed. He afore ordained all that was to befall him and caused him to walk after the commandments of God. Not according to the ministration of condemnation and death, wherein no flesh shall ever be justified, but according to the law of God written upon that new heart of flesh. The Spirit of God dwells within this cleansed earthen vessel and the power of God causes him to prepare his heart to seek Jehovah.
Does this make God guilty of injustice? No, for there is no injustice with God since all His works are true justice. The love for His children is as just as the hatred for the children of the wicked one. The brilliance of the light is as complete as the blackness of the dark. The children of the light walk in the light after their nature and the children of men walk in darkness because their deeds are dark and they love the absence of light. So the purity and righteousness of the good that God created is as contrasted to the evil He also created. One is the fullness of perfection in Holiness and the other is the perfection of the absence of all that is Holy and God created them both for His good pleasure.
He cannot be persuaded by the accomplishments of man. Though many have and continue to come before Him and proclaim the ‘good deeds’ they have done, if they be not of the sons of God, they are none of His. He casts them out into darkness because He does not know them. No personal perfection, social status or wealth could merit them the favour of God any more than any amount of works of righteousness which they have performed could buy the recognition and lifting up by Jehovah.
Nor could the saints of God backslide so far by neglect as to persuade his God to reject him and cast him out. The love of God is commensurate to the nature of God which cannot change. The child of grace is a son of God and God could no more deny the child more that He could deny Himself. Therefore, nothing can separate His people from His eternal love or prevent them from loving Him.
This is a Just God who is the God of gods and Lord of lords. he is a great God mighty and terrible which does not regard persons nor takes rewards (Deut. 10:17).
THIS IS JEHOVAH GOD!!!
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
June 3, 2012